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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pastel Mini Demo ...Winter Stream

'Golden Morning'         8x10          pastel        ©Karen Margulis
Winter Returns. It is week two of painting the winter landscape and I decided for this one I would let myself go and paint something out of my head. Well I started with a bad photo of an underexposed winter stream with just a hint of light in the background. It gave me a little seed of an idea and then I just went with it.

Sometimes it is good to just put down the photo and rely on what information you have inside your head. I had colors and mood all floating around wanting to come out. It really doesn't matter if it makes sense or if it is even any good. I enjoyed the process of painting and sometimes that is enough for a successful day in the studio!

I began with a value underpainting using a dark blue Nupastel and some rubbing alcohol. You can see last week's demo for the same technique. I am working on Uart paper and a variety of soft pastels...Terry Ludwig, Great Americans and Diane Townsends.

Next I blocked in the dark areas with some blues and greens and a bit of red.  There is a lot of dark in this scene as it is supposed to be early morning deep in the woods.

  I start to put in my lights so that I could judge the overall values in the painting. I want to have some nice yellow light so I put some in the sky and also some reflected light in the water.

The next thing I tackle is the snow. I want the snow to be in the shade so I paint it using blues with a darker blue for the shadows on the snow. I scumble some purple on the right to help hint at some bare bushes/trees.

Next I refine some of the trunks and branches. I put some in and take some out. I work on the water and add some more yellow light and add some darks on the edge of the banks.

For the finishing touch I put some snow on the distant evergreen trees using a pale blue. Done!

I hope you enjoyed this week's demo. I didn't take very many in between photos because I was too involved in the painting. That is a great thing for me but bad for demos!  Let me know if you decide to try a value underpainting!


Anonymous said...

Lovely painting.
How did you get those lovely branches on the right of picture? I can never get them that thin. I find it difficult to get an edge on the pastel and my branches look more like trunks of trees.

Karen said...

Thank you Eileen! I used the sharp edge of a Nupastel to get the thin branches. It needs to be a sharp edge of a harder pastel. I also try to draw them very lightly. If I am too heavy handed they get too thick!

Anonymous said...

How do you determine the color you use for the underpainting?